Search Results for: gather your sew-plies

Gather your Sew-plies!! Part 3 and beyond!

The Gather your Sew-plies series continues with this video start, part 3. Above.

Intro, Click Here. Youtube VIDEO Content.

Part 1, Click Here. Youtube VIDEO Content.

Part 2, Click Here. Youtube VIDEO Content.

Pattern found in Quilting Arts Holiday 2014

Above links embedded in similar order:

and also: 

and then, Part 1:

Part 2

Phew. Are you still with me?

I have added more video content to the Gather your Sew-plies!! purse series! In the next few weeks, I am going to be updating my blog with post about stitch, acquiring inspiration for stitch, thread and needles. I will talk about building and sewing Thimble Pockets, Scissor Pockets and Straps.

I hope you will follow along.

I have hit a snag in teaching through The Clever Guild, please stay tuned on that account. It is coming together. Just slower than I would like.

So, will you follow along? I would love it if you did. Stay tuned here, at my blog!


For Christmas, I was given a set of Personal Training sessions.  😀 Haha!!

I chose a young woman, a really neat person, to organize my training for the next few weeks.  My overarching goal is 10 Pull Ups and 10 Push Ups.  An underlying goal is to efficiently and proficiently perform the Get Glutes program that I am now a member of. Since joining the gym, I have moved right into the hugely supportive community, forums and group run by Get Glutes; Kellie Hart-Davis and clan.

I love the Get Glutes members. Love checking in and getting inspired by my fella friends in glutes! I love lifting heavy and learning to use my body. 

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And, my goodness, every push-up and pull-up is so hard won!! Winning accomplishments in the use of my body is very exciting to me. I admire those who pump out a bunch of push-ups! I am getting there. (I jumped rope for 140 consecutive jumps!!) And cable rowed 32.5 pounds this week!! I am becoming a gym bunny! 🙂 

Gather your Sew-plies, sew where you go.

   

I am here at 61 Local, or at least that is what I think the name of this place is. It might be Public House 61. I am unsure. It has free wifi, an offering I will be coming to value. You see, I need to get out of the house. I have been a bit of a shut in, and I need to change this storyline. 

Last year, I moved to a new apartment, while writing a book that ended up being canceled. That was a lot of work, that also, by necessity, kept me indoors, in my workspace, making. Although the book was cancelled three months ago, I am still recovering from the loss. I had to put that artwork away until I figure out what to do with it. That left me with a blank canvas, literally. So now, I am picking up the pieces.

  

This has been a challenging time to be sure. I have not experienced this many creative hits before. I am in a bit of a creative stand still. I put a shout out on Facebook, asking what my fella artists and comrades do when faced with creative quiet. It was an interesting discussion. Many folks said they walk away, apply their focus elsewhere for a while. Others said they try a new media, some take a class. 

At the moment, I have three quilts that need binding, a Meadowlark quilt top in the making, I am working with acrylic paints and I have gathered several handwork projects, where I can use my Gather your Sew-plies! Purses to sew, wherever I go. I am also preparing to print cloth for sale directly off my blog. 

(I am dabbling in everything, it seems).

 

To help myself along, and to change the scenery, I am going to embrace the change in weather, while sewing wherever I go. My plan is to find coffee shops with free wifi, so I can sew, blog, and see new faces and places. I do love being able to get out of the house, while still being able to do a bit of this and that.

Gather Your Sew-plies Sew Along Part 2

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Hi! I am finally back at it. I edited this video early last week and have been wanting to write up a post about it ever since. I am editing The Next Book, creating projects that are on the super top secret side, and moving into our apartment. It has been great, and also somewhat crazy, in a roller coaster-ish sort of way. It feels good though. Everything is settling into place and the emotional undercurrents are settling into manageable proportion. Phew.

The next installment of the Gather your Sew-plies!! Sew Along video series will be the most exciting, in my opinion. That is where I will talk about finishing the purse, making spaghetti straps, using the release clasp notion, making a thimble pocket, covering earth magnets with fabric. I love finishing these little purses, it is the best part.

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This is a Gather your Sew-plies purse that I have been embroidering and hand stitching, on-the-go. I find the small format of the Gather you Sew-plies!! purse to be quite a good surface to hand stitch. It isn’t so large that it becomes difficult to complete. I can stuff it into my back pack, (along with a fully kitted out Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, I will talk about what I pack into a purse next week as well) and easily sew wherever I am. That is  my personal goal in making these purses. I want to sew back and forth on the subway, at coffee shops, wherever. So my projects need to be quickly packable. I love working this way.

Last fall I was sewing on the subway on a return trip from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was one of two people on the subway. A young Hispanic man and myself. He had to see what I was doing. When he caught my eye, he indicated he thought the stitchwork was neat. I told him I like to stitch graffiti. He gave me a thumbs up. It was a very interesting exchange. I love public acts of stitch education. Fiber art education.

Plus, wearing these purses reminds me of Athena, Goddess of the Hunt.

I hope you too might also sew on the go. Do your own form of fiber art, quilt art, fabric art awareness. I want young’uns to come into the creative fold. Sewing on the go is a good way to get the message out.


 

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King Fisher Child

12×12″ Pineboard

2013

I painted this series last year. This photograph does the painting no justice. My iPhone camera is broken, sorry. I will replace it soon. Anyway, apologies aside, This painting is a favorite. There is magic in the drawing and layering, acrylic paint is fun. It pleases me. 


 

I am planning a quilt top challenge using Meadowlak. Please stay tuned and know it is on the radar for a future post. Here is some eye candy in the meantime.

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Gather your Sew-plies!! sew-along.

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I am so happy that there has been interest shown in having a Gather your Sew-plies!! sew-along. I love making and using these little purses. I find them to be incredibly useful. 

To tell you the back story, if you own a copy of Inspired to Quilt  you will find a pattern for a sewing holster. For years, I used a sewing holster, which is a finished strip of quilted fabric with pockets that could be draped around the neck. The sewing holster worked, but presented problems. If the objects stored in the pockets were not balanced, the holster would pull heavily to one side. When getting up and down, I would need to hold the holster in place. You get the idea. A few years back, I decided to work on the pattern and see if I could correct the imbalances. 

The Gather your Sew-plies purse was born. At first, this purse had several pieces, the main pouch, a scissor pocket, a thimble pocket, a flap closure, a strap tab and strap. When I started thinking about making a pattern for Quilting Arts Gifts, I decided to simplify the purse as much as possible. The Quilting Arts Holiday version of the pattern works almost like the plastic sandwich bags that have a flip top closure. This turns out to be quite sturdy manner to close the bag, leaving no open areas where your trusty sewing thimble might otherwise escape. I removed the thimble pocket entirely, though during the sew-along, I will go through the steps you need to create one. 

One of the things I like about the old pattern with the flap closure was the fact that I began covering earth magnets with cloth in order to securely close the flap closure. That is a dandy method of closure and I will talk about that during the sew-along as well.

I have come to think of my varied collection of Gather your Sew-plies purses as an art collection! I hope one day to have 30 of these bags, because it is nice to make one, but when you make 30, it definitely becomes Art. Or at least a showing of obsessive compulsive glee. I don’t know which. 

So, let’s get started. First, you will need a copy of the magazine, please use this link if you intend to purchase a copy. Using that link will help Quilting Arts track how many copies are sold through my web site. I do not make money from this. As the pattern is copyrighted, I cannot post or email a copy of the pattern to you. I can expand upon what has been published in the magazine, which is what I intend to do during the sew-along. 

Beside the magazine itself, you may need a 3/8th inch 3/8″ release clasp buckle, I have come to love these buckles, they pleasingly clip and pop open. I bought many of them, because I apparently need at least 30 of these purses. But. I must say, finding a notion or solution to finishing your purse without this buckle will be a worthy adventure. I am sure we can find some interesting ways to enable you not to purchase the release clasps, if you do not want to purchase them.

Another notion you will need is a Loop Turner . That link shows the loop turner that I use. I am not ‘married’ to this loop turner and if you know of another turner that might work better than this one, I would like to know about it. The thing that holds me back from unequivocal love is the fact that we will need upwards of 70″ of spaghetti strapping to make the straps for this purse. 70″ of bias tubing does not fit on this loop turner, so I make my loops in two pieces and join them after turning them. So post a comment if you have a better tool for the task.

Beside the above items, I bet you have all of the necessary fabrics and notions to make the purse. Because some of you may need to purchase a few items, I think we might start this along in a few weeks time. I am working on the posts related to the -along right now. I will let you know just how I plan to present the info quite soon. I am thinking several posts over the course of a week might do it, though weekly posts might be nice too. Your thoughts?

Leave some comments and help me get back into the swing of blogging! Please?

Gather your Sew-plies, Quilting Arts Holiday edition.

I am happy to have published in the Quilting Arts Holiday gifts issue, which showcases my Gather your Sew-plies purse. 

 This sewing purse is the Bee Knees, if you ask me. These purses were designed with movement in mind. The bag itself embraces a reverse pack pack styling, so, it sits at the front of your body, safe and secure, as you move around your sewing studio.

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The pattern in Quilting Arts Holiday has directions for a scissor pocket, though you need not stop there! As you can see, I have also included a tiny pocket to hold my thimble.  

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Sometimes the purses themselves become a canvas on which to stitch and embroider.

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And sometimes I include fancy bits of fabric in the lining. I have also been known to clip rounded bits of plastic from milk bottles and juice containers to tuck into the scissor pocket-which protects the fabric from being punctured by my embroidery scissors.

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See? You can even swing while ready to sew. 

All in all, I can’t live without these little functional bits of beauty. So far, I have made about 15 of these purses, each has thread, embroidery floss, some Thread Heaven  (An Amazon link, I LOVE Thread Heaven as a thread ‘conditioner’), and the pattern has evolved over time. Sometimes I make them with flaps as you see in the above photos, sometimes I make them with a fold of fabric that flips over and closes the purse (this is the pattern that Quilting Arts Holiday has published). I also like to thread string through the bias straps, which strengthens them.

I would love to have a Gather your Sew-plies sew along if you are interested!?? Please post a comment below and tell me know if you would like to do this. You will need to purchase the magazine to access the pattern, but I have many additional ideas and notions that will make this quite the fun sew-along. 

Check out these other posts on the blog hop too!

Friday, September 12, Vivika Hansen DeNegre, http://quiltingdaily.com/

Saturday, September 13, Lyric Kinard, http://lyrickinard.com/blog/

Sunday, September 14, Claude Larson, http://randomactsofpiece.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 15, Linda McLaughlin, http://notesfromstudiob.blogspot.com/ 

and Kathy Kerstetter, http://artndl.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 16, Lori Miller, http://lorimillerdesigns.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, September 17, Melanie Testa, http://melanietesta.com/blog/,

and Liz Kettle, http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey

Thursday, September 18, Susan Brubaker Knapp, http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 19, Lisa Chin, http://somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com/

Saturday, September 20, Sarah Ann Smith, http://www.sarahannsmith.com/weblog

Sunday, September 21, Catherine Redford, http://catherineredford.com/

 

 

Gather your Sew-plies!! Class at The City Quilter.

Here is a cut and paste from The City Quilter‘s web site:

 GATHER YOUR SEW-PLIES!

Hand sewing requires few tools: scissors, a thimble, perhaps

a piece of wax and some thread. While making a

‘Gather your Sew-plies’ purse, we will explore hand sewing

themes in embroidery while creating our own purses. Each

purse has a scissor pocket, a thimble holder, and an area

to keep a few choice items. It will sit tidily against your

body so that you can easily move around and carry your

tools with you. This class will explore embroidery and composition

in an interesting, offbeat and artistic manner.

 Sundays, Sept. 23, 30 from 12 – 4 PM

Instructor: Melanie Testa Fee: $ 90

 I have been working and digging on this sample, for the class. I can’t seem to finish it, or to let it go for that matter. I tried to separate myself from it today, but could not. I went to pick up the scissors from the sharpener and took it as an opportunity to drop another sample Sew-plies purse at The City Quilter. I brought this one, hoping to ‘finish it in time’. But I couldn’t hand it to Nancy. So I gave her an indigo dyed purse. One that features one of Glennis Dolce’s moons. I am so happy to have found a place for a piece of her work!

So, are if you in or around New York City and would you like to take a creative embroidery class with me? Please call the gals at (212-807-0390), email (info@cityquilter.com) or drop by the shop with your credit cards ready.  

I would like to have fun with you and some good old fashioned stitch.

 This purse uses my eye/heart stencil. I am exploring how I might embody the layered textured, interrupted, messy nature of graffiti, in cloth, with this purse. It is time for this purse to turn a corner and get another layer. Maybe on the back, I am not sure. So you will be seeing more of this purse in the next few days.

 

I have become a quiet blogger. I am learning to run The Clever Guild, I built the site! Now I have to learn to use it! Funny how that happens.

I have begun training with Marianne Kane at MyOhMyTV. I am also going to a pool program for survivors twice a week. I am doing things I would have never thought and I am really enjoying myself.

Cricket and I got mani/pedis’ this week. I told myself to get blue or green. I love looking down and seeing this color. Anyway. I have been having a hard time keeping up with myself! It is all good though.

Writing the article at Role/Reboot is an interesting experience. I wrote it (with a little help from my Mom!), I knew it was going live. When the day came? Deer in the headlights. But then, I said what I had to. So I was alright with it. It got maybe 94 likes on Facebook. 11 Tweets and 17 Shares. 

I have a favor to ask, Will you please post the link to the article on your Facebook for  a time? I would love to have as many people as possible read it and share it. Simply living without breasts should be offered as an option to breast cancer survivors, it should be accepted as part of living female in this world. No questions asked. Can you tell I feel passionate about this topic? So, please share, tweet, pinterest the article.

So, that is a quick recap from me.

TV taping and Gathering your Sew-plies!!

 

Check out the blog post related to this video: http://melanietesta.com/2015/10/tv-taping-and-gathering-your-sew-plies/

A video posted by Melanie Testa (@mellytesta) on

This week, I found myself in the unique position of needing to Gather my Sew-plies!! on the quick! I was asked to tape a video segment for a major media outlet. The original idea was that they would come to my home and film me while I was printing the Breastless Beauties. But at the last minute, they had a change of plans. (I was excited that they would come film me printing!!! Their loss. Haha!!)

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So, 15 minutes before needing to leave to get to the meet up spot, I grabbed a Gather your Sew-plies purse, some thread and all of the printed Beauties I had made so far. Wow!! Talk about thinking quick on your feet! Talk about needing your supplies at a moments notice!!!

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It is strange, I can’t really talk about this project yet, but I can share vaguely.

So…

To be honest? I feel blessed to be able to have done this video shoot!! It seems I have made waves this year. My perspective and the narrative I am speaking to; body positivity in the face of breast cancer diagnosis and its treatment, or even more broadly, loving your body no matter if you had a cancer diagnosis, is being considered, discussion is occurring.

What more could an artist wish for in her lifetime?

Wear them close.

So, what do I carry in a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse? Embroidery/thread snips, thimble, thread, a hank of hand dyed embroidery flosses, needles and a few pins. That is all. The purse has a backpack styling, fits snuggly against the body. Does not swing or make its presence known, as you work about in the studio or wherever you may be. I have been known to wear them on the subway, it is a great sewing in transit purse! 

I will be teaching at Craft Napa January 7-9 2016 There is a stitch class where we will begin making a Gather your Sew-plies purse. I hope you will join me! I would love to work with you. Throw knowledge nuggets, share laughter and have fun with you. I need a teaching retreat and I am ready to teach again! Please join us.

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I will be teaching You can’t resist this, a soy wax class.

Small Works, Big Impact

and the Stitch Journaling class where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse. PLEASE Join US!

Melly

More updates to come!

 

Gathering my color.

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The Gather your Sew-plies!! purse is just the right size to stitch, explore and complete. It is 6″ wide and 14″ long and given how it folds to make the purse, that can mean that you can stitch just the front area, making the stitchable area 6×7″ or so.

Of course, I like to stitch the entire purse.

The above blank, which is what I call these before they are heavily stitched, is a combo of my own quilted work and some previously stitched Indian cloth (at least that is what I think). The colors are rich and compatible. I seek to amp up the textural element, meaning my stitchwork, to integrate the Indian cloth with my own quilted fabric and soften the difference between the two. I may need some new thread colors…

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You may remember that Carol Soderlund and I collaborated on an article called Thread Dyeing 101 for Quilting Arts magazine last year. In the article we took two approaches to dyeing thread, we offered a color wheel, solid dye approach and a more fluid and playful manner of dyeing threads too.

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And while I think this thread is a bit bright for my current piece, I do like having all my threads ready to be used and accessible. Getting these floss off the StitchBow makes me want to wind some new hanks and dye some more thread in appropriate colors! I would love to have some browns, beiges, tans and soft, earthy colors in my thread stash!

Gathering my wits.

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I think I may have started this Gather your Sew-plies purse in 2012. This purse was made using this pattern (I call this Pattern #1), it is constructed differently than the pattern that was published in Quilting Arts Holiday 2014, (which I call Pattern #2). There will be an updated pattern coming out soon (Pattern #3), and I do hope you are interested in the upcoming changes.   😛 

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Back in 2012, I stitched the pink in the negative space, a scrolling flair with daisies.  When I got bored of stitching the scrolls, I began sewing a grid, also in the pink. Then, I put it down. The pink stitch work had taken a while, I had fallen in love with it, but I knew the design was unfinished and that I wanted to push it further.

I just did not know how.

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This week, after finishing the graffiti stitch Gather your Sew-plies purse, seen in this video (it’s from the post before this one). I took out this older purse ‘start’ and I could immediately see what I wanted to do. I could see these little green stitches, stacking up to color the negative space.

Stitch work is such a quiet and centering activity. Working, one stitch at a time really clears the mind of all activity. I bask in the quiet and apply myself to the task. It feels so good, like reading a great book whose characters are friends, anticipated, hoped for, at each turn of the page, the story unfolds like the glittering gems of a sunny day at the beach. Hearing the needle puncture the cloth, seeing the color of the fabric stitch and change as the stitches stack up is a blessing.


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 Just so you know, I am updating The Clever Guild, my teaching site. The first class offered will be free, and will demonstrate making your own Gather your Sew-plies!! purse using a new and updated pattern. After which I will release my first offering, Journal Stitch. Please stay tuned for more information. I really hope you are interested. 

I have had several people write to ask me to teach soy wax resist with paint. While I was at Craft NAPA, several students asked me to teach a course about color, and another about composition. If you have a specific idea about what you might like to learn from me, I would like to hear about it. Would you be interested in a class using Procion MX dyes? Thickened dye? Thread dyeing? What? Please leave a comment.

Gathering, an introspection.

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When sewing on the go, it is necessary to have a project bag. This bag, for me, serves a function. It serves as a place to embroidery reminders, occurrences, important dates, I love a project bag! It should be -just- big enough for a project, and a few choice supplies.

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The Gather your Sew-plies purse ought to contain, a thimble, a small array of hand and embroidery needles, an embroidery scissor, spool of sewing thread-I love Aurifil, each of my Gather your Sew-plies purses are kitted with it. The #12 cotton?? A gorgeous hand sewing and embroidery thread. Capital -L- Like.

And it dyes beautifully!!!

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Ok. Here is a debate that rolls around in my head. I like the Pilot Frixion Ball Erasable Black Gel Ink Pens for their immediacy, and when embroidering words onto cloth, it imparts a realistic look. But. 

Ok, wait.

The Frixion Pen can be ironed, which ‘erases’ the original mark.

BUT!!!

With cold, the mark will return. Cold as in, stored for an extended period in color storage or left on a metal tabletop over a few days time. I do not know if washing the item will have an effect in either direction, further study is needed.

But, I am using it in the meantime. It has advantages that I appreciate.

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 More to come on the Gather your Sew-plies Sew-along!!

And expect a Paris romp o photos! The graffiti? Awesome.

Exponential Sew-plies

One for each day of the week?

This weekend I became obsessed with making a Gather your Sew-plies purse for each day of the week. You can see, I am well on my way. I have been settling into a new form of textile art, which isn’t clearly defined yet but it seems to have something to do with cloth, dressing myself, and embroidering and embellishing the clothing I wear, make and use. All of the sudden, I feel as though my clothing can become a journal. I can trace off a drawing from my journal, embroider it onto my clothing, I can say things, verbally and visually on the clothing I wear, it if it were my journal.

I have been playing with the idea of labels. We like to categorize things, people, visual impressions, items. When working with clothing we have lots of physical labels, actual labels that tell us about size, fiber content, washing instructions and the like. I have been having fun inserting and using found labels in new ways. Here you see my latest Gather your Sew-plies purse is a size 14, or is 14th in some unspecified order. I have been daydreaming of removing and redistributing the labels that are sewn onto my clothing.

This latest Sew-plies purse goes with a t-shirt blouse I bought at H&M. I started embroidering it just this morning. This is part of my new approach. I am going to work on and wear the clothing I choose to embellish all summer long. This is an active project. I don’t yet have a blouse to pair with the pink Gather your Sew-plies purse…but I have been thinking about how to remedy that.

I will be teaching in Arlington Texas this week and will be away from home for almost 4 days. Luckily, I now have an iPad (A.K.A iMelly) and can keep up with you guys wherever I am.

Sew-plies updates

Which she likes better, though is too small.

The cinch sack pictured was  the trial cinch sack, I think it pretty but ultimately, too small and a bit clunky.  The cotton lining is stiff and the lil thing does’t close well. Resultant to which, I lined a new larger cinch sack circle with an old silk habotai and found this to be just the right amount of drape. Thimble Cinch Pattern here.  

Stash of buttons.

I do like the lil premature Cinch though. I keep playing with it and trying to improve or use it somehow.  

Then I get to wanting to give it to Matthew to see what he would do with it. Matthew makes assemblages, is a friend of ours, we hang at dinner parties intermittently but I/we don’t know his last name and can’t check to see if he has a web site. But Matthew would paint it green and leave it to sit on something for years. He would do something unexpected. 

The parts are coming together.

I sewed a loop onto the back of the Gather your Sew-plies purse, and am embellishing a 38″  belt to thread through it and use while sewing on the go. Last night we traveled home over the 6 subway for a while. I sewed the purse while standing on the platform and on the train. It was the Saturday young kids come from the burbs to party for a night. Ill chosen stilettos in a city where you must walk. It is an interesting way to experience the city.

Pinch Clip belt.

Would it be overbuilt to encase and sew  some magnets strategically to help hold the pin book securely against the purse? Hm.

I love the addition of the belt. I love to walk and having the purse bang against me could have been a deal breaker. So, form is meeting function again.

I am sewing baby buttons onto the belt with white seed beads. There is something magical about buttons. Some of the buttons I am using are humble shell buttons that seem quite old. Pictures to come.

I am creatively floating on the waves over here. I am introducing exercise into my daily routine, walking, and being active. I experience much change and I know that my energy levels are not what they used to be. They are getting better and there is no rushing it, but this is different. 

Stitches pile up, life and CraftNAPA: an update

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It has been more than 2 weeks since returning from the magical event called Craft NAPA. I feel blessed to have participated. I stood among friends, watched their connection to one another, ate chocolate covered strawberries and drank deep cups of coffee while also teaching and meeting new friends.

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This is the view from Pokey’s art barn. Like so many of you, I have watched the blazing beauty that Pokey spins wherever she goes. To watch her build this barn, to see Crafting a Life unfold, to participate in her first event is an amazing endeavor. I feel gratitude, and I am honored to know her and to be able to lend my talents to her efforts.

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Indigo Perez is such a lovely person. I have watched her unfurl her wings and fledge the nest of my good friend Judy over these last few years. I have to say, Indigo is so talented, such a good person, I couldn’t wait to hug her. 

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Here are Pokey, Larissa and I. Both of these women are crazy mad talented. Larissa took my, You Can’t Resist This! soy wax resist with paint class. Her color sense and use is amazing. Not to mention, she now owns a class sample I donated to raise funds for Okizu, an organization that helps families affected by childhood cancers. 

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Jamie Fingal, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Pokey, Judy Coates PerezJane LaFazio and I recreated a photograph we took perhaps 8 years ago at MIU in Long Beach Quilt Festival. What an amazing group of people. This photo mash up was taken by Jamie.

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Midge and Libby became fast friends. I now own pieces of art made by each of these women. Happy sigh.

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Cheryl Sleboda and I were able to connect too.  She is a powerhouse. Smart, sassy and fun. Go check out her website! I bought one of her skull tShirts!

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You Can’t resist This!! Class photo.

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Journal Embroidery class photo.

Unfortunately I did not get a photo of my Small Works/Big Impact class. I am sorry about that. 

My take away from participating in this great event? I can see Craft NAPA being a creative home away from home, one that I look forward to visiting yearly. The food offerings, 8 Noodle, OxBow Market, the Napa Valley Art store? The community and commeraderie in this event sparkled bright. I hope I am asked to teach again, and I would love to take a class too.

There are so many more photos that I could have put in this post. I think I am going to upload them to Facebook instead. 🙂 Great fun, friendship, learning, and wine blending! So good, I still feel the glow of having had a great time.


 

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Upon my return and in wanting to establish creative balance after the participating in this great event, I have been stitching away the days. I am compiling a new class content for The Clever Guild. It feels great to be engaged with my creative process again and I look forward to providing opportunities to connect and learn from one another. I hope you will follow along as I dust off the site and start having some fun with it.

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I am hoping a few of you might volunteer to take the class (for free-of course), I would love some help in making sure the content is amazing. Stitch work, questions and participation is required. If you are interested, please leave a comment on this post and I will contact you with more information.

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I have been pushing the limits of layering and stitch and am quite pleased with my results. The Gather your Sew-plies purse is a great format to learn about and play around with stitch. The main purse piece is 6×14″, which makes it large enough to make a great purse, but small enough that filling it with stitch is an enjoyable affair.

Please speak up if you would like to be on my Journal Stitch crew.


 

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And then we get caught up to last night, when Joules Evans arrived in Brooklyn to attend the opening at Site:Brooklyn called American Road Trip. This is the first time Joules has had a piece shown in a gallery, and for it to be a great Brooklyn Gallery is no small feat. Congratulations Joules.

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To celebrate Joules’s accomplishment, Isis Charise photographer of Grace, Joules and I attended the opening and then walked over to Bar Tano to toast, eat and be merry. These women have been a strength and a balm to me. 

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Life is better than good.

 

A video posted by Melanie Testa (@mellytesta) on

Loving Goodness

 

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Happy Holidays, all. May peace reside within each of us, this year, this day, this moment. Life is short. Let’s all enjoy every minute of it.

We have just returned from a holiday visit with family. We ate great food. Lasagna, salads, bread. Ham with all the sides. Nuts, a cheese ball. Shrimps. Hugs, family, TV and talk. We took a walk with my brother and Sister in Law. And received great gifts. A great cooking pan, a bracelet I have been wanting for a very long time. Some tank tops from Buy Me Brunch. And I am happy to say, my brother and Sister in Law will be visiting Brooklyn quite soon. Life is good.

I would like to Thank You for your support and encouragement this year! I have begun blogging again and am enjoying sharing my artistic progress with you. Thank you for coming here and checking in. I am thankful to be able to teach at Craft NAPA, and I plan to blog about my adventures. I hope you will stick with me and enjoy it with me. If you want specific pictures or info, comment please!

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This week, I walked to Public House 61 and had coffee while stitching. I spent a couple hours enjoying myself, one stitch at a time. These last few weeks have been oddly stressful. After pulling a muscle in my back, I had an oncology appointment and, of course, my Dr. ordered scans, the first in the last 5 years. I knew it was nothing to worry about, but it did also worry me, to think this might well be cancer related. I was diagnosed 5 years ago, January 11. I do have fear of recurrence, so stitch, which slows time down to a single movement, a small action, that piles up and reveals itself over time, is meditation. It is the perfect antidote to stress.

And! No evidence of Disease at this time. I have a herniated disk, which requires much walking. Deal!! I will take it. 

The coffee shop is one mile away, they open at 7:30 A.M. So, I Gather my Sew-plies!! purses and a project, and go sew for a cuppa. And then walk home again. Win! In the photo just above this video, you can see my project bag and preferred stitching notions, wax and needles. 

I am working my newest Gather your Sew-plies!! purse. It is a class sample. I look forward to seeing where it goes.

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Journaling with Fabric and Embroidery at Craft NAPA

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As you can see from these photos of my class samples for Craft NAPA, the possibilities are exponential when Journaling with Fabric and Embroidery. The Gather your Sew-plies!! purse is a sewing chatelaine or purse that holds the essentials of what you will need to sew on the go. The purse is very small in size, making it a great ‘canvas’ to try out some playful and innovative embroidery techniques. 

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Embroidery thread is such a satisfying media. Six strand embroidery floss can be used as is, for a chunky burst of color, or it can be whittled down to three or four strands, two strands, or even just a single strand to make your mark. Marks, memories and a mixed media approach to embroidery is what this class is about. We will explore using stencils to create patterns, we will simplify and use imagery found in our surroundings, we will work to accentuate positive and negative space and experiment with sheer fabrics too. 

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All while making a purse that contains everything you will need to move about your sewing studio or better yet, to sew on the go. I would even go so far as to say, this purse is a productivity booster!

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I hope you will join me in Craft NAPA, January 7-9 2016, register today!!

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Here is a shout out to the wonderful CRAFT NAPA sponsors, BERNINA and Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers

BERNINA Made to Create Right

 

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Registration for Craft NAPA closes on Dec 15th. 

Comments to win the eQuilter 500$ gift certificate closes on December 10, which is today. For a chance to win off my blog, comment on this post <—–Click it. And please check out all the blogs on the hop!


Nov 30- Jane LaFazio – http://janeville.blogspot.com/

Dec 1 – Lynn Krawczyk – http://smudgeddesignstudio.com/blog/

Dec 2 – Judy Coates Perez – http://www.judycoatesperez.com/

Dec 3 – Jenny K. Lyon – http://quiltskipper.com/blog/

Dec 4 – Jamie Fingal – http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

Dec 5 – Melanie Testa – http://melanietesta.com/blog/ (Here you are!)

Dec 6 – Elizabeth St. Hilaire – http://www.paperpaintings.com/

Dec 7– Leslie Jenison – http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/

Dec 8- Carrie Bloomston – http://www.carriebloomston.com/blog/

Dec 9 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Dec 10 – Pokey Bolton – http://pokeysponderings.com/

Craft NAPA 2016, soy wax, embroidery, small works!

We are blog hopping, and I certainly hope that you might jump over to every name on our hopping list and comment (list is at the bottom of this post). There are great prizes in store if you do, but you must comment! And! I am hoping you might consider registering at Craft NAPA and take one of my classes, or a class from another fantastic teacher in our ranks.

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You Can’t Resist This! is a class that uses soy wax as a resist along with paint on cloth for an easily accessible way to build layers of color, texture and line. Soy wax is a champion in the resist department. It is super easy to use, easy to clean up, and it creates gorgeous cloth with depth, beauty and vibrancy. 

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In fact, I find soy wax resist, and building layers of color and texture to be addictive, like eating potato chips. And it is a good thing, because I have begun making quilts out of my fabrics, you can see one here. Being able to both make pleasing cloth and use it, is instrumental to making more cloth!!

Small Works

Small Works, Big Impact is a one of my most favorite classes to teach. Working small has had a huge impact  😉 on me as an artist. Working small can help you create larger works, if that is your goal, but they are also easy to complete, they sell well, as most folk have a small wall available to hang a well chosen small work, and I think it is also a great way to learn new techniques. Working small also lends itself well to working in series.

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The techniques we will use in this class include using tulle and sheer cloth overlay, fusible webbing and collage, in addition to finishing techniques. And remember, small works do not limit the possible subject matter to explore! Check out my gallery and Breastless Beauties pages to see more small works.

I have been creating and updating a pattern for what I am calling the 'Gather your Sew-plies!!' sewing chateliane (which is free on my blog). In this purse in particular I used the 15 Minutes Play idea, my idea was to use new materials (wool batting, fabrics new to me, and embroidery stitching). It worked, this is not a purse or flow of fabrics that I would have used had I not played with this idea. melanietesta.com/tag/gather-your-sew-plies/

The Gather Your Sew-plies!! purse is a great sew-on-the-go item for the studio as well as the coffee shop. The purse has a back pack styling that remains close to your body, while carrying the essentials, needles, thread, thimble, pins, scissors and embroidery floss. The purse pattern will be supplied, and we will focus on using embroidery as a means to Journal with Fabric and Embroidery

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The purse I show here uses stitch to enliven a fantastic commercial fabric. If you would like to see more purses, click here and scroll downward.

I would love to teach and work from you. I very much look forward to meeting up, enjoying Napa, making new friends and enjoying old friends too. I do hope you will register!


Here is a shout out to the wonderful CRAFT NAPA sponsors, BERNINA and Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers

BERNINA Made to Create Right

 

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PLEASE comment on this post if you want to win great prizes. All comments go into one big grand prize drawing that will happen after Pokey’s blog post.

Comments close on Dec 10th. 

The grand prize is a $500 Gift Certificate from eQuilter.com! 

I will award one commenter on this blog with a copy of Dreaming from the Journal Page. So, please, comment. Also!! Check out all the blogs listed below and comment freely.


Nov 30- Jane LaFazio – http://janeville.blogspot.com/

Dec 1 – Lynn Krawczyk – http://smudgeddesignstudio.com/blog/

Dec 2 – Judy Coates Perez – http://www.judycoatesperez.com/

Dec 3 – Jenny K. Lyon – http://quiltskipper.com/blog/

Dec 4 – Jamie Fingal – http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

Dec 5 – Melanie Testa – http://melanietesta.com/blog/ (Here you are!)

Dec 6 – Elizabeth St. Hilaire – http://www.paperpaintings.com/

Dec 7– Leslie Jenison – http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/

Dec 8- Carrie Bloomston – http://www.carriebloomston.com/blog/

Dec 9 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Dec 10 – Pokey Bolton – http://pokeysponderings.com/

Progress and the peacock

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Nope! I agree. 

This sign was recently pasted nearby and it is a great reminder, I had to photograph it. No, indeed, our dreams are not somnolent, but rather invigorating. 

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This weekend I gathered with my gal pals to quilt at retreat. I spent the last two weeks printing the peacocks, woodblock ditties and chevrons and I was prepared to begin a quilt top using the fabric.

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I had forgotten that Pickles, the peacock would greet us when we arrived at the retreat center. Pickles likes crackers, but we assume this is not normal peacock food. Pickles did get some crackers from us. He worked very hard for them.

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I began a quilt top. I love it so far. I think it needs a border, an asymmetrical border of medallions and woodblock ditties as seen in the upper right corner of this photo. My goal for this week is to complete printing fabrics that can be used in the border. Fun! I love having creative goals like this.

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This sign resides on a wall close to the gym and I could not resist a selfie in front of it. I hope you are feeling creative too. Creative in the very way that pleases you most.


 

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I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

Soy Wax, Paint and Teaching: Craft Napa

I will be teaching, You Can’t Resist This, a soy wax resist and paint class at Craft Napa in coming January 7-9, and I would love for you to join me. In this class we will explore what resists mean, how to layer and build color stories that work with your chosen motifs, and we will explore differing methods of working with paint to achieve pretty, layered, vibrant, unique and textural results. 

You Cant Resist This!

You may wonder what the differences are between paint and dye. A basic definition is that dyes bond with the very fibers of the cloth, while paint sits atop those fibers. Both are a good way to apply color to cloth, the biggest difference between the two being that with dye, the original feel or ‘hand’ of the cloth is retained because the dye binds with the fiber of the cloth at a molecular level. Paint, on the other hand, needs binders to adhere to the cloth, these binders can lend a stiff or heavy ‘hand’.

Oh, that green!

Paint binders have improved tremendously over the years and there are some paints out there that are really quite good. Paint also allows for easier access to workable, beautiful cloth without the learning curve associate with the use of dye. Don’t get me wrong, I love dye, it is my medium of choice, but as a teacher I understand that paint is a great entry into making original surface designed cloth, and that students have great success in using it.

Reminds me of eggs.

 

A video posted by Melanie Testa (@mellytesta) on


 

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I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

 

 

A year of returning.

Last year I was given a glimpse into identifying too closely with yourself through the making of art. I had not previously been forced to assess the role that making art had in my life or that it was so closely identified with how I think of myself as a person. 

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I lost my ability to connect with and do my art for months at a time, I have never been as blocked as this and I hope never to become blocked like this again. There were a few days when I threw my arms up and asked myself, ‘what and who are you without the ability to make?’ All my normal jogs and pushes didn’t work, trying out new media, going to museums, hanging out with friends, I did these things, but they did not lead me back into the making!

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So, rather than to look at my art as a means to connect to self, I have decided that making is a fun thing I do. One of the many things I like to do. And sometimes, you just have to do those other things.

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Buying Dragon, my Thermofax machine, sure did help. That gave some extra luster to wanting to make the plunge and delve deeply into printing enough cloth to make something with.

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Rather than create new motifs, I looked to my collection of woodblock stamps for inspiration. These motif have the effect of being even more exciting to me because they are nothing like what I would design otherwise.

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This week, I hope to print some semisolids, some cloth that will allow for visual relief, a break from all the colorful clutter and motifs that you see here.

All, while I revel in the fact that my creative drought has broken and I am able to return to doing the creative work that makes me happy. I may yet become blocked again. I may suffer a creative drought, where I wonder who I am without the ability to access my creative center, I hope not. But at least I will know, it does come back! Even if I just have to let it run its course.


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I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

 

Printing we will go

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I have been happily printing, because I am on a quilt top mission!! Each year I attend a pretty awesome retreat with great friends. The next one will occur next weekend. The cloth you see above was printed using dye left over from printing the Breastless Beauties. And, although these printed fabrics are quite pretty, the color is not as sharp or boisterous as I would like to see. I am happy to use up as much dye as possible though!!

This morning I mixed new dyes.  😀 HAHA!

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Do you want to know how very exciting it is to print your own cloth and use it in a quilt top? REALLY freaking exciting.

I mean. Right at this moment, there is a completed quilt, using my hand printed cloth folded neatly and resting over the back of my couch. On a very regular basis, I pet and fondle that quilt and admire my handy work. I feel blessed to be able to do this work.

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The prints I am sharing with you today were made using wood block stamps bought from Coloricious. First, I stamped each image onto paper, scanned these into Photoshop, created a repeat, then for the Peacock image anyway, a background was created.

I burned a Thermofax screen with the images. This, not the wood block stamp, is what I am using to print the cloth you see here. Of course I am printing with my beloved Procion MX dyes on cotton, which is just gorgeous and cannot be compared to any other media.

I bought these stamps perhaps two years ago at Quilt Festival. I like the stamps a bunch, but until now they have been a decoration. I love -using- the stamps, and better still, I really like the cloth I am printing. It makes me daydream about how I might piece and create a satisfying quilt top! Great big sigh. I love this. 


 

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I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

 

One stitch and one day at a time.

I am happy to say, I have found my creative verve again. This year has been a challenge for me artistically. One where I totally lost my ability to create for a few months. This is not normal for me. Usually, when I become blocked and find myself unable to create, I will stop using the media I am focused on and start using a different media all together. This year, this did not work, at all. Instead, I stopped seriously making anything for a few months and did other work. 

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I did many things to try and lift the block. I Gathered my Sew-plies!! and sewed around the city, I made a quilt after printing all the fabric for the top, I posed for breast cancer awareness articles, and traveled to Germany for an exciting photoshooting. I know it sounds like I was super engaged creatively. And I was.

But what really gets up my gander is challenging myself to try new things. Like printing a series, which I have never done before. And while working with the same image multiples of time might sound boring, I don’t find it that way at all! Actually, quite the opposite. With each printing, I see differences in print quality, different color combinations, with each stitch I see the work individuate from its fellows. I guess sometimes, creative blocks really just need time. 

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I have just uploaded and completed 5 of the embroidered Breastless Beauties. Breastless Beauty 5, Breastless Beauty 6, Breastless Beauty 9, Breastless Beauty 10, Breastless Beauty 11. I hope you might like one! 


 

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I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

 

Uniboober Beauty, Breastless Beauty 1

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Today I stitch a Uniboober Beauty, Breastless Beauty 1.

The Uniboobers are the ‘hardest’ Beauty to print. They aren’t actually difficult to print, it is just that… they are a combination of two printings, a Breastless Beauty is printed along side a Breasted Beauty, and the organza layer from each is switched with the other.

The hard part is keeping the layers together during steaming and washing! And not even that part is hard (!), it is just that it requires memory and I often loose that during the wash out process and end up making either a Breastless or a Breasted Beauty instead! 

Anyway. My favorite of all the Beauties is the Unibohbber Beauty for several reasons.  1. I feel women who choose unilateral mastectomy are the bravest of us all. For me, this choice would require that I wear prosthesis, because symmetry and ease of finding clothing that fits is essential to me. Knowing I did not want to engage with this, has made me open my heart to those of us who have chosen this option. 2. I so often forget to match the organza to the printed cotton layer after the wash out, that the Uniboober Beauties are a rarity. 🙂

I particularly like this Beauty because the organza falls upon the cotton in such a way that the dark area is crisp and stark. In the video below, you can see how the layers shift and can change the look of the piece. I think this is just plain magical.

 

A video posted by Melanie Testa (@mellytesta) on


 

craftnapa-color1

I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

 

The Breastless Beauties

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You will soon find a sales gallery of what I am calling ‘Breastless Beauties’ on my website. I am very excited about this work as it integrates my advocacy work for body positivity and flat reconstruction due to breast cancer with my artistic, multicolor printing endeavors. I have not previously printed so many pieces in a single go, nor have I worked to bring so many pieces up to a salable point as a group. 

The Breastless Beauties are based on my 2007 Quilt National entry, Repose. Seen here:

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I would like to tell the story of sharing one of the Beauties to a flat related peer support group of mine. The Beauty I showed them was what we fondly call in the breast cancer community, a uniboober, (or a single breasted woman). The first response I got after showing the piece was, ‘Wow. I never thought I would see my body in a piece of art!’

And I must say, I was touched beyond measure to hear this.

Throughout the last few years, I have worked to create visual representation within the media for the bilaterally flat chested women like myself. I have done this because I understand  the importance of having our bodies reflected back to us, and for those images to be positive, strong, fully embodied and filled with hope. Beauty is not the end all in life, but when we are forced to make bodily changes due to cancer diagnosis, self esteem can take a big hit. Seeing our changed bodies in the media and on the wall, reflecting our new reality, serves to heal the soul. 

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For the most part (there are still a few projects that will be released), I feel I have done enough breast cancer advocacy work. It is time for me to step away from the public eye and back into my artistic endeavors. Printing and stitching the Breastless Beauties has been a great segue in this respect.  I hope you will follow me in this more artistic form of visual representation.


 

craftnapa-color1

I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

 

allow, welcome, be present

   

I have been sewing on the subway and beyond. It is interesting to sew in public, it is not done very often, I regularly see knitters, I know I have seen crocheters, I have seen people drawing. Of all of these activities, knitting happens most often. But even still, not as often as you might think. I feel tentative about sewing in public.  I started using my Gather your Sew-plies purses to sew on the go a few years back. I remember feeling much more open and present to sewing in public at that time. I look forward to feeling more ease while whipping out a needle, cutting a length of thread and putting needle to cloth.

The Gather your Sew-plies purses are pretty secure and hold all of the essentials, thimble, a spool of thread or two, scissors, wax, all attached to my person due to its backpack styling. I carry my projects, along with the Gather your Sew-plies purse in in my everyday backpack. All of it is really easy to gather up and put away, if I loose myself, and forget to listen to the subway announcements. It is a tidy package. 

The Quilting Arts Holiday issue that contains this latest pattern for the Gather your Sew-plies purse is on sale half off, click here)

 

I look forward to beginning to stitch this piece. I printed the left most portion this last weekend and sewed it to the right portion yesterday. One of my overarching goals in working with cloth is to make my fiber art more akin to my painted work. So, I plan to invest in intuitively placing new motifs, lines and secondary patterns by way of embroidery and stitch. This will be fun to watch unfold.

I have been loving Instagram (click and follow me!) and the ability to search hashtags! My latest fun find is #subwaytalents. There are many musicians who play in the subway, and I think it would be great to add stitching to all the underground talent. I think the person who owns the subwaytalents page found me through my use of the hashtag #NYC, or probably more accurately, #nycsubway. I daydream that perhaps I will start a public stitching trend, silly, perhaps. But who knows? Anyway, I am posting videos and photos to Instagram, I often cross post to facebook, but I also post images solely to Instagram. I hope to see you there as well.

sewing wherever I go.

  

I have been preparing myself to be able to sew wherever I go. A few years back, I began to make the Gather your Sew-plies purses, in the hope of being able to keep all essentials at the ready, in a neat and tidy package. (In case you are wondering, a pattern was published in last years Quilting Arts Holiday magazine.) Along with this, I have gathered an array of colorful embroidery thread, several hand-work projects and I even bought a protective, sturdy case for my iPad, so that I do not have to worry, too much, about it being bumped and joggled. 

  

In addition, I am researching the best coffee shops in New York City (with free Wifi), so that I can really experience sewing wherever I go and documenting my experience. Today, I am again at my local coffee shop, 61 Local. I bet I come here a fair amount because it is local and easy, but I also want to see and experience different parts of the city, especially as the weather improves. I love sewing in public, or public displays of sewing, as I like to think of it. Many folks sew in a privacy of their homes or studios, but for this project, I would like to think of the city as my studio.

And! I love watching tv as I sew, as long as I have access to wifi, I can watch tv too! Here I am watching The Connection, a (short term) free streaming movie, promoted by Food Matters about the mind-body connection. Watching tv in public (I wore my headphones) seems silly, though also fun. And why not? Normally, I listen to music on my headphones. Watching tv in public isn’t all that different! Odd, maybe.

Do you sew in public? Do you draw wherever you might be? How about knitting in public? If, you too, have interest in busting out of your normal space, with your everyday activities, I would love to hear about it.

My hopes versus my ability.

OK. I am committed to blogging more often than I have in the recent past. I have so many projects I am progressing forward. I love every moment. This is very exciting. But, honestly, I don’t have the ability to work as quickly as I used to. I have a video in process related to the Gather your Sew-plies sew-along but I am unable to complete it. I can’t complain, because I am going to be dress shopping in Paris soon. 

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What I plan to do is ‘sew as I go’, with my Gather your Sew-plies purses in Paris. I will be working a series I am now calling, 1 in 8. I am going to Wordless Post, if you understand my meaning. Photos only. No words. But sewing, every step of the way. Embroidering.

Please join me.

This will be fun.

And in the meantime, keep coming back. I will speak with you through the comment function here on the blog. Check back. I am ready to be more present in our artistic community.

Hi!! It has taken a while!

You should see!

Blogging? I forgot how to use the software!! LOL.

So. It is a welcomed but creaky start.

Talk about chemobrain!!

In the meantime, watch this video featuring Gail Chovan:

 

Breast Cancer Awareness?

Today begins Breast Cancer Awareness month. 

This is a small work, I am stitching on currently. I am learning needle turn. I am not very good yet, but I bit off a large portion and am getting better at it, as a result. I am moving into our tiny apartment, looking for space solutions that fit our favorite activities and furniture. Now it has come down to specifics. I love space organization, so you might hear the glee in my voice as I type these words.

Anyway. Breast cancer awareness.

You may know that there is a challenge out there, in the ethers…

A Quilting Arts Readers Challenge, to be exact.  

I am going to begin a discussion on Going Flat. Much of my discussion will revolve around creating breast pockets and embroidering these small feminine works, as you see above. I hope you will join me, in discussion within the comments section of each post (check back, OK?)

OR join me in a Gather your Sew-plies, Sew a-Long!

Or both.

Please help me get back in the swing of blogging and investing in my virtual community, you! 

Frittering my time, and enjoying every second.

It is that time of year again… Time to Gather your Sew-plies!! It is warming up. Time to sew on the go.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A Project Bag in the Making.

I have been making Gather your Sew-plies purses left and right. The entire plan in making these bags is to be able to sew wherever I go, the subway, the coffee shop, the Promenade, you get the idea. As I have been doing this, I have been thinking, what about a project bag?

I love a good backpack, having my hands free is important to me. I have been designing this backpack for quite a long while. I wanted it to be soft, meaning, I want to experience the cloth I use as part of the design. I wanted the straps to cinch it shut and keep it shut by way of using the weight of what the bag holds to keep it closed; the entire top edge of the purse is a drawstring compartment and the arm straps are the ‘cinch’ that keeps the bag closed. 

I had one yard of this fabulous cloth. I think of it as a ‘market print’ There are flowers, cherries, strawberries, garlic, peaches, the print is crisp and clean and pretty. To give the cloth some body, I doubled the cloth and sewed straight lines along the grain using Aurifil Lana#12. The buckle you see is just for show, it does not function to shorten the straps.

And, well, of course you need another bag to hold all the little things, thread, the project itself. This draw string bag came with a long sleeved t shirt which is also printed with the word ‘frock’. I embroidered over the printed ‘frock’ on this bag and use it almost like a stuff sack.

And here is a peek into the bag itself.

I have bought a snap setter and I intend to set some snaps into the pockets (check out the first photo to see one of the two pockets, there is one on the outside and one on the inside) but, that is scary. I will need to punch a hole into the pocket and the purse itself, and I don’t want to mess up.

I need to practice my snap setting skills first.

Here is the man cat, tuning into a few good z’s. He looks happy, doesn’t he?

Sewing what I see.

I have been making the Gather your Sew-plies purses obsessively. I am on #8 and I have set a goal of making 30 of them. Really I have made 9, but I gave one away. 🙂 I have also been at home and focused for quite a few weeks, and it is time to stretch my creative muscles and to see what change will bring. So I packed up the latest Sew-plies purse along with some buckram and thread and I walked up to the Promenade to ‘sew (I mean draw) what I see’.

This little drawing took about 3 hours to do. The buckram provided a ‘grid’, which helped in ‘drawing’ straight lines. I brought two types of thread, straight sewing machine thread and #12 Aurifil Mako’ (which has become my favorite hand sewing thread), both in black. I don’t think this drawing is complete and I would love to try using the #12 Aurifil thread in this drawing. The two different sizes of thread will compliment one another nicely, I think.

On the walk home, I began to wonder if I need to paint the sky a light blue… hmmm.

I will be doing this again. I would love to stitch/draw some people, crowds, horizon lines. I need more buckram.

It is magical.

This weekend we went to our friend Clark’s house for a picnic. Clark lives in a home that has been in his family for 110 years. The house was 60 to 70 years old when they bought it. It is an amazing house. There is a creamery, they used to sell milk. A barn, several acres of land, farming machines-rusted and dilapidated, two swings, trees and lots of shade. It was a fabulous weekend. We relaxed, we ate, we chatted. I sewed.

This sew-plies purse is coming to a stage of completion, but because it explores ideas of graffiti, it may just be waiting for the next step, I am not certain.

This purse is a big(ger) one. I should have perhaps measured it before I went ahead and sewed it shut. I don’t mind though. I even kind of like it, the one change I think I will make is shifting the snap placement. Do you see when it is closed that the right side of the purse has more cloth than the left?  Part of me likes this, part doesn’t. The part that likes it says, it is almost like the proud city boys who wear their baseball caps off to the side. The part that doesn’t like it? I do get off on symmetry sometimes! 

I have figured out a great way to make the scissor pocket. This week I am going to update and expand the Gather your Sew-plies pattern, I have begun working on it already.

This cane stand sits just inside the front door of Clark’s house. How tidy. What an amazing collection.

Clark has clothing from his great grandmother in his home. I snuck around and peeked into the closets and drawers. I found lace, beaded lace, a sewing kit (!!!), a velvet cape!

Look at that peplum. That had to be part of a bustle, I wish he had the skirt that went with this jacket. The cloth was probably cotton flannel, though it may have been a very light weight wool. I was sneaking around, so I didn’t linger to find out! Clark didn’t mind. But I was still sneaking!

Look at those beautiful buttonholes.

A Brooklyn day plus reconstruction!

Oh my goodness have I been having fun making stuff. I am exploring the concept of deconstructing, reconstructing and constructing. When we reconstruct our bodies after breast cancer, we can have procedures where you move fat from one part of the body to another, you can cut a flap of muscle and rearrange it, who knew? Flaps. Moving. Buttons. Pockets. Closures. My idea of cloth, clothing, textiles and medical procedure lingo are colliding. Clothing has become my canvas.

I am sewing wherever I go. Seen here with my Gather your Sew-plies purse in action. You can also see my Boro Bag/Hip Bag. I am preparing a new classes centered around embroidery and bag making. We will dye our own threads and use the inspiration around us to embroider our stories, circumstance, and daily lives on cloth.

I am designing a new hip bag, one that can be worn  along with the Sew-plies Purse and will hold a small project-I have to enable this creative tangent. It is a tangent. Graffitti is a tangent, don’t you think? So why not embroider in a graffiti like fashion all over my clothing. Soon, I won’t be wearing a backpack at all, I will have small art bags, holding my sewing essentials, strapped to my body.

I don’t think these two bags really go together, but they are helping me to define a criteria for the next bag.

Lady Liberty. I love me some her. What a beautiful female symbol she is. In the middle of our harbor. A gentle womanly soul, hand held high.

Yup, I like her.

I spied a stencil and David snappend a photo of Mr. T? Who is that? 

Boy did I walk alot yesterday. I met up with my good friend Erin, and we wandered. We sat at the promenade and talked. We looked at the skyline, we shot the breeze. Then I met up with David and we walked down to the beach in Red Hook. I sat and sewed in front of Lady Liberty. David took photos of his shoe laces and asked me to use one of the images, perhaps just the shape as a motif.

How could a girl resist?

We got Limonata, too. That is my sinful indulgence right now. I love them. They are tart. Almost freeze them, and drink straight from the can.

On our way home, David and I stopped at Union Max. And NABBED two printed blouses. But look at that collar, my goodness. I have already deconstructed it,

changed the collar to peter pan styling, reattached it. And just because I was there, removed the bust darts.

By the way, this shirt is printed gaberdine. When I was growing up, I remember people talking about gaberdine, it was very exciting at the time. Do you have memories about cloth like this?

Move those labels.

 Eucalyptus dyed silk satin over linen, replaced label. Soon to become a strap for a Gather your Sew-plies purse, hippie style. I am moving labels around within my wearable art pieces. Very excited by the idea.

My medias are mixing, it can be quite confusing. My orderly nature rebels, but the stuff I am making? Awe-some. I love when I feel good about the stuff I am making.

It is difficult to remain tidy. Maybe the definition of tidy changes per project. Stencils on top of embroidery floss, works for me.

Brown glass buttons sold along side chocolate, I don’t understand the connection, perhaps the color brown? Both yum.

Kailey, my intern, helping me prepare for Quilting by the Lake next week. Can I tell you how much I admire and like Kailey? She is a sweetheart. Really, I just wanted her here, I hope she got as much out of coming as I did in having her. A few months back she came and we made cloth for her final high school project, this month, Kailey came to help me. I Lurve her.

New haircut! I look spankin’.

Fragments old, made new.

The poppy sew-plies purse got nixed. I like that piece too much to cut it down to size and at the same time, I don’t want to have one off sized purse in the lot. So I searched my stash and am making a new ‘graffiti style’, embroidered ‘Gather your Sew-plies’ purse. Perhaps I could even call it graffiti boro, to go with the rockstar boro wrap! I am pairing each of these bags with a garment that I am embroidering and embellishing. Basically, no clothing in my wardrobe is safe! 

So I took a very old ragged and dilapidated cross stitch piece and sewed it in place on some sturdy linen. The canvas sew-plies purse in the background of this photo is the notorious Belly Button Sew-plies purse, mentioned in this post. But here you can see why Leslie named it the Belly Button! It’s an outtie. 

Alright, so here is the thing…I have fallen in love with making these purses. I sort of want 30 of them in various styles, colors, patterns and styles. That Belly Button? It is a magnet, a fabric covered magnet. Magnets have become, The Bomb. Do you remember finding cloth covered snaps in clothing? You hardly see that anymore. I have mastered the art of covering magnets, it is easy really, I just like to inflate my ego and give myself props.

So this morning, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, I logged onto Amazon to search out strong disk magnets and I found them, in two sizes. They have already shipped… I await them with baited breath.

Today is the last day you can sign up for my online class give away! So go to it!

Noodles, eat, shop, play.

Yesterday I went to the Fashion District to poke around in trim shops. This was the first time I brought my video camera and I was shy to whip it out. M and J Trimming was all for it, I asked if they were OK with my filming, yes. No questions. In fact it was almost as if they were saying, ‘No need! It is all on the web anyway!’ 

I love M and J, they have so much stuff packed into that store, it is arranged and managed beautifully. It is where I go to find stuff, then I try to source it elsewhere to get a better price. Yesterday I went for the clip closures I am using on the Sew-plies purse. They also have these snaps that I have my eye on. But I think I can find them at Pacific Trimming at a better price. Pacific trimming had these safety pins that I find adorable and have been using in the Sew-plies purse, so those came home with me too.

Both stores had stuff that I would like to mull over. I like to mull over and process how I might use a thing before I purchase.

I would like to do this again, let me know if you think it is fun.

When I was flying to Arlington Texas last week, I traced off an image on an airplane and embroidered it to the center back of the Female Magazine blouse. The blouse is piling up the embroidered stitches. The fabric is changing to the touch. Very nice. I will post overall photos soon.

Last week I went and played with Victoria Findlay Wolfe (whom I love and sorta have a crush on, she is creative, gentle, awesome, smart and she is coming out with a book!!). She keeps a site called 15 Minutes Play (also the name of her upcoming book). She sat me in front of a machine and got me sewing without specific purpose in a playful way. Oh my goodness! This was so good for my soul. I have been moving away from intense dye use in my work and using cloth in this way-piecing and playing, really helps to loosen a girl up.

So this weekend I put the idea to the test. I gave myself 15 minutes to play (it turned into hours and hours). But. Here were the ideas I applied to the 15 Minutes of Play:

Use new materials, in this case wool batting

Use stitch in an unexpected way

Combine one piece of hand made cloth with mostly commercial prints

This sew-plies purse is so yellow, it glows! As I have said before, I want to make one for everyday of the week. I may need one for each day of the month. I think this is going to become something for me. I want a piece of clothing to embellish, embroider, print and surface design to go with each purse! I am going to take the Gather your Sew-plies purse off the web and update and fix it, so if you want version 1, download it now.

V2

Today my man and I celebrate his Birthday by going to a Mets game. I, of course, need a project. I have decided to reinterpret the Gather your Sew-plies purse. I am now perfecting and expanding this pattern!

I would love it if you would make one and show me how you put it together.

I pulled this linen and silk out of a bin and they looked so interesting together. It isn’t what I would have thought to be drawn to. I am daydreaming a new neckstrap. I am having fun building.

Whirlwinds

This should be Flash Card Friday, but it is not. I called a fun day. I went to my monthly appointment, my Man accompanied, very helpful-the lad. 

A memory of the day, not fully explained:

X-ray box, perforated paper, square head man face, front top quadrant of the page-drawn by David. Me: Flipped, vertebrae, ribs, hips, femurs; his pen, mine pencil. RN comes in to find, then….Very fast walk uptown, stopped at Merrimeko…dreamy…. Then to Mood to paw through and daydream effectively. Rich!

I am fixated on getting this Gather your Sew-plies (chatelaine pattern)  right. I felt buoyed by a comment to this post and started to think about this purse as Sewing Jewelry, personal adornment, how would an artist with my skill dress herself?  I began designing this small purse because I want to sew -on –the —-go, embroider wherever I am. Although I merely keep the essentials (Thread, Thread Heaven, Thimble, Scissors, needles), the bag is heavy and it moves around with momentum as I walk. Form isn’t meeting intended function.


A need arose.

 So it needs an anchor. But I want it to be removable, because, well, who doesn’t like a convertible thing? A toy, a puzzle, deeply stitched object. It’s satisfying. 

I think I am just addicted to cataloging, collecting, collating, and jotting. This is an image of an idea book. I think it is different than an art journal, it supports and documents. They help me remember.

A need, and response.

So I am creating a belt and loop scenario. I keep wondering about changing the texture of cloth by stitching it. I would like to explore this some.

I think the hand stencil needs to be embroidered on the purse, somewhere. That stencil has been asking to be used all week.

 

Anyone in the Dallas area going to the Great American Scrapbook Conference, I will be teaching surface design techniques for paper. Come join me?

Thimble Cinch Add-on Pattern Blog Hop Tutorial

Thimble Cinch Add-on Pattern <———Click to download pattern.

Part 2 of Gather your Sew-plies

It is tutorial time again and this time I present the Thimble Cinch Add-on Pattern. This pattern is made in response to and improvement upon, the Gather your Sew-plies!! Pattern. There will be a few more printable patterns in this series. So far I still have yet to complete a Scissor Tuck Pocket Patterm and I would like to do one called, ‘Mods:’ where I discuss the small modifications, embellishments and changes that I have made.

embellish freely.

But for today, I offer you this downloadable pdf, Thimble Cinch pouch pattern, woot!

If you make your own version of this, I would love to see it and will create a Flickr group to manage your photos. Say, Yes! Start this weekend! Start now. 

If you would like a copy of each downloadable pattern to be delivered to your email box, please sign up for The Clever Guild’s newsletter. I won’t barrage you with email, but I will be sending out at least 4 to 6 emails a year with content like this free downloadable pattern, video samples and information pertaining to upcoming workshops and more.

______________________

And, it is also Flash Card Friday

On page 40 of Dreaming from the Journal Page, liquid Frisket is discussed and demonstrated.

Liquid frisket is a rubbery, liquid substance used as a painterly resist on watercolor paper in combination with either watercolor or gouache. The type of paper you can use it on is limited, on watercolor paper, no problem. But it does not work well on bristol board and I would not suggest you use it in a Moleskine Sketchbook, as it has the tendency to delaminate that type of paper. Always experiment to see what works best for you and your supplies!

I am using this journal spread to demonstrate techniques for my up coming Dream Journals class (this class will available for sign up within the month) through The Clever Guild. The image of Arrow, upper left corner of the page, used liquid frisket. It is fun to see the page like this as it has really grown and changed since I took this photo.

And please, if you are interested, sign up for Stencil Magic, where i demonstrate the use of single and multicolored stencils, with samples on (mostly) fabric, though I also demonstrate using stencils in mixed media painting and your artist’s journal. I really hope to see you there!

Artist+Clothing=Adorn?

Gather your Sew-plies!! Purse

So here is the story.

I have been quiet on the home front of cancer. I don’t know how to frame a discussion about my experience last year, all I know is I am just beginning to land and unwind, and integrate what I have learned from being ill. But at the same time I think it is important for me to be plain with you as well as myself. Perhaps you have already noticed but I chose not to ‘reconstruct’ my body. I think having a body, healing and moving into life after cancer is enough. I am still all woman. I am just a flat chested woman.

I am being up front about this because I am exploring clothing as a form of artistic expression. This is a creative theme that I need and want  to explore, both metaphorically and physically.

Clothing my body has become an adventure. I am an artist, I have always wanted to dress ‘singularly’, uniquely. And what better way to explore artistic, healing and integrative themes about the body than to adorn myself. 

I have fallen in love with the word, Adorn. 

Adornment. 

 Suggestions? Anyone? 

for Gather your Sew-plies Purse.

This purse recipe is a lot of fun, it is a sewing/fashion accessory. Big and bold when paired with a white shirt and skinny denim jacket. I purposely made this purse in such a way that I could continue to work on it until I had perfected the design. Do you know Cat Bordhi? She is a sock knitter and a creative thinker. She wrote a book about starting the sock… ‘from the middle’. And this got me thinking. What would happen if you started a project in the middle rather than tucking in all the loose ends at the get go? So this little purse is being completed as I go. I started in the middle. Will you make one too? I would love to see how you proceed alongside me. Mini Sew Along?

I am making an add-on pattern for the Gather Your Sew-plies pattern…A thimble Cinch Sack! More on this later.

Thank you and Welcome

If you are coming here from Create Mixed Media, thanks so much for stopping by and welcome. I have created this downloadable PDF pattern for the small purse (below) as a welcome and thanks to all of my readers. 

Gather your Sew-plies!! <——Click it.

I will be posting once a month on the Create Mixed Media website. This month I am exploring embroidery and ‘journaling’ on clothing. In the days to come, you can follow me here, on my blog to see what I come  up with and next month I will post a recap on the Create Mixed Media site. I also plan to extract ideas from my journals to stamp, stencil and surface design clothing, I hope you will join me in both places.

Wear them close.

The Gather your Sew-plies pattern is really more of a ‘recipe’, as the bag is a work in progress and I will be making additions and changes to it in the month to come. If embroidering on cloth is of interest to you and you would like to have fun and make you own marks, perhaps you’ll whip up a purse, it keeps your supplies close at hand. The first change I will be making to my purse is the addition of a button to keep the pouch closed. I have come up with an ingenious manner to do this and I will be discussing it within the next few days.

mess is managed by neat arrangments.

In the meantime, I would like to tell you what I carry in my little purse. A small plastic thimble-I love thimbles and I usually carry a silver thimble, my favorite thimble, but until this bag gets its button closure, the plastic thimble will remain tucked in my pouch. Scissors, these are a pair from Kai and they are an economically priced scissor that is super sharp and pretty awesome. Again, I have a prettier pair of embroidery scissors that I cherish, but these are my travel scissors. Thread (Auriful #12, have you hand sewn with this thread? It’s like butter). Thread Heaven, I am loyal to this stuff, it really helps to ‘prepare’ your thread. And do you see that gray paper that holds some black embroidery floss? That is 400 grit sand paper. I think it is a great idea to carry sandpaper with you. Just yesterday I noticed a burr on a needle, I had the paper at the ready and sanded that burr right off.

So please use the link above to download your copy of ‘Gather your Sew-plies’ pattern and I hope you will join me in making marks on cloth this month. Welcome.

And please, register for the free webinar next week.

teaching schedule

My in-person workshop schedule:

2017

craftnapa-color1

Craft Napa, January 11-14, 2017

Background/Foreground -acrylic painting on wood (waitlist)

Inspired Journaling 

You Can’t Resist This! Soy wax with dye (waitlist)

 

Focus on Fiber Florida Style, April 4-8

Monoprint, Resist and Stamp, A Vibrant Still Life

You Can’t Resist This! Soy Wax Batik

Lecture: So, You Want to Write a Craft Book?

 

My Online workshop schedule:

Coming soon! 2016

Free: Gather your Sew-plies!! online class

Mark Making, an embroidery and stitch making class

Dye your own Embroidery Floss

 

Out and about while binding a quilt

When I was a child, one of my favorite books was called, We Were Tired of Living in A House. Much like it sounds, the children in the family, packed their bags and headed out to make house in a tree, on the beach and so on. Ever in my life as an artist has this concept been of great favor. I do everything in my power to Gather my Sew-plies, or bucket as the case may be, and hit the town. 

And today, I must complete a quilt slated for a magazine article. 😜

What better way to drink a bit too much coffee and get out of the apartment, than this.

Let the Sew-along begin.

photo 2

Above you see a quilt sandwich, a scissor pocket and two tabs which will hold the strap in place. We will be making a quilt sandwich that is big enough to cut all of these pieces, in addition to a thimble pocket.

The pattern in Quilting Arts Holiday magazine states to cut your quilt sandwich to 6″ wide. I have made many of these purses, some that start with a quilted sandwich, some that don’t. I find that the batting in the quilted Gather your Sewplies!! purses takes up a bit of ‘room’. You may want to use flannel rather than batting for this reason-or choose to forgo batting altogether.

If you choose to use batting, I would suggest adding a half inch to the width of the pattern.

This week, your task is to piece, batt, back, baste and machine quilt a quiltlet utilizing the information I have presented in this post. 

photo 3

Here you see the start of my mini quilt. I have not added batting yet. The striped rose pattern peeking out will be the backing of this mini quilt. I have placed a rose print at what will become the center front of the purse and have used a pink floral print at the bottom of the quiltlet, this will become the flap that will securely close the purse. 

GyS!!Start

SEW! 

I made the executive decision to forego batting in this version of the purse. What you see here is the purse body, where I brought some of the 1940’s vintage stripe to the front of the quilt sandwich. This sandwich consists of the backing, the top and several rows of machine stitching using free rayon embroidery thread. To the right are two tabs to hold the strapping, which is also pictured. The additional piece of vine fabric will be used for a zipper pocket.

This week your task is to make a quilt sandwich, a top, batting and a back, or follow my lead an create some made cloth. Next week, we will make the spaghetti straps, place the tabs, fold the pattern properly and sew it closed. Stay tuned.


 

A reminder: Here is a link to the magazine, if you don’t have a copy already. I will reference the magazine article throughout this sew-along, though I cannot post the pattern or send you a copy. You must purchase the magazine in order to sew-along with us.

Here are links to previous blog posts related to the sew-along:

The announcement

The tools you may need

Please excuse my camera and color issues. I have been away from blogging for so long that I need to catch up with myself and the technology. 

Sewing, Stitching, Embroidery.

The Little King has been doing quite well. He loves Chicknbits. Arrow can no longer hear well, his sight isn’t 100%, but he knows Chicknbits. He will lead me to the cabinet when he thinks of them. He has been a snuggle bunny, lap focused. He is warm. He smiles a lot. We put an old bed pillow on the floor, under my sewing tables and he loves it. You should see his happy baby, buddha smile. I treasure each moment with this little cat.

Speaking of Arrow, look who made it onto a Sew-plies Purse? Do you remember this stencil?

The owl, vaguely seen at upper right was copied from a bottle of Haden Fig wine. That was a good bottle of wine! We drank it over dinner one night in Seattle. It was a bit too much to drink and we enjoyed walking for a few hours afterward, it is fun to get too tipsy now and again. It is especially fun to get tipsy with David when we have the time to really enjoy one another’s company.

This Sew-plies purse will be a memory catcher, or a stitched journal, of sorts. Because if the nature of hand sewing (it takes a little longer), I have a bag of receipts and a pile of papers and cards that have logos, times, dates and ideas for further exploration here. I would love for this bag to be dense with stitch and the story of our trip to Seattle.

In the lower left you see a metal box. I am quite an obsessive compulsive person when I cotton on to an idea. The Sew-plies purses are really opening the way for me to sew wherever I go. But sometimes I just don’t want to be strapped into one. So I introduce, tiny sewing kits. The idea is that you can throw them into your purse and never be without something to do!

I am buying candy tins left and right, the smaller the better. I throw the candy out, rinse the box and gather a few choice items and ideas. This box has everything needed to create tags or labels. The white paper tag you see up there came from the scissor sharpener, when I brought my scissors for sharpening and I would like to use the written words from that tag to create some cloth labels. This box has cloth, a needle, pins, embroidery thread and a few scraps of cloth, for ‘just in case’.

And, of course, breast pocket production is in full swing. Kathy York has been making some. Will you? I need 1000.

I am back!

I came home from Quilting by the Lake tired but Energized. I have three different Sew-plies purses going at the same time, this is just one. I made the Yellow/Red/ Brown/Pink cloth with the Eye-Love graffiti symbol, while I was away last week and now, feel the need to use it quickly.

I also rearranged my sewing area and really like the new configuration, it is much more usable now. Though it does make me want to rearrange the art on the wall. Funny how things spiral like that. It will be good to rearrange. Perhaps Saturday. I think a studio update is in order, don’t you? It is quite different than the last time I blogged about it.

QBL 2012 was great. The greatest women took my class. They were all open, willing, attentive to instruction and chat and they seemed to soak information up.  I mean look at all those smiles. Yeah, they are giving me devil horns, but who would expect less? For more photos check Facebook.

QBL has an auction to raise monies for its scholarship program. They ask each teacher to make an apron. I soaked mine in soda ash and began working on it in class. My students gathered round, they watched me print this. I used freezer paper cut outs of their hands. I asked for both right and left and they gave them, sometimes with wrists,  sometimes cut to the palm. Interesting. They watched me juxtapose my letters and they never said a thing. I mean, I don’t know if the typo set a malaise on the class or what. I pinned it to the wall and kept looking at it. 

While the class was in session a tour bus comes on thursday and three groups are walked through each studio and you talk your class up and invite them to ask questions about you or your art approach, it is like, ‘a few minutes in the studio with Melly’. One of the nice tour ladies pointed out my mistake.

You know me, I am thinking, ‘why didn’t anyone tell me!’ I fret. I want a new apron, I want to do it over. I briefly thought of asking Lindsey for a new one. And then I cut an arrow stamp, and I fixed it. Just like I kept telling my students to do all week, to push an idea, to try something new.

It raised a goodly amount of money too. That was a fun event.